After reading Soupgod’s experience with an English-only “solo” boot camp I decided I had to get in touch with the CR crew to arrange something similar. The experience would be one of the most remarkable I’ve had over the last few years and veritably blew my mind away. Forget all those strenuous sessions memorizing canned openers, stacking up routines, negs, pegs, and all the predictable, boring conversations you get from delivering the same material time and time again. Sarging as it turns out, can actually be a lot of fun, and you get to be yourself all the way into some girl’s panties! Who knew!
The guys were very accommodating and came up with a superb plan. The stage would be wild, familiar Stockholm on Friday night, and the even wilder färjan to Åland for the rest of the weekend. Leading off would be three of the coolest, funniest guys I’ve had the pleasure of meeting: TheMan/Kian, the resident funny high-energy crazy do-just-about-anything-for-the-hell-of-it kinda guy; Gustavo, the charming latino womanizer who opens you playing shy and proceeds to clean up like the best of them; and Erik, the epitome of laid-back cool, always making it look easy without somehow ever seeming to break a sweat.
And then there was me. Coming off a frustrating 2 years where I had dabbled on and off (after reading The Game, of course) with Mystery’s method and related pick-up theory, overcoming my approach anxiety but never really going much farther than that. I was bored to tears of reciting the same bland opinion openers, delivering someone else’s material and generally stuck in a rut with my game.
In my early twenties and despite my good looks and respectable social skills, I had very little sexual experience and no serious relationship history to speak of. My life’s worth of interactions with women were always dictated by lack of romantic or sexual escalation, inevitably always ending in that dreaded friends zone. As CR put it, I wasn’t leading the interactions, and I certainly wasn’t closing either!
So what exactly then did these guys have in store for me?
It was Friday evening as I showed up to Gustavo’s flashy pad in Söder, only to be greeted by a disarmingly friendly smile, and lots of shouting -TheMan was in the house! I then introduced myself to Gustavo, and we all proceeded to shoot the shit, get to know each other a little bit. A crazy weekend awaited us.
We went through the initial theory for a couple of hours, and the guys introduced me to the CR philosophy. It’s all about being bold and socially savvy, but in “normal” way that makes people relate to you. No gimmicks, no magic tricks and no negging. What you have got going for your is big balls, a devil-may-care attitude, lots of infectious positive energy and most of all, your own personality. The warm alpha concept, be respected and looked upon, but not feared. Fuck what everybody else may think, get over yourself, and go and have some fun.
With that out of the way, it was show time.
Erik joined us outside the apartment, and off we went. First stop: Club Dembow, in Hötorget. Nice place, with an urban mixed crowd. It was earlier in the night but I had the work cut out for me. “Go and open that set two-set over there” Sure, no problem. “And remember, do NOT use opinion openers. They are forbidden for you. All night.” Oh crap.
I opened and opened, and then opened some more. The guys would study the approaches from a distance and give me the detailed lowdown right afterwards. “You are leaning too close.” “Hold your glass at the waist” “Don’t do so much kino at the beginning, you are scaring them off!” It was all useful, and the girls were opening up far easier from a simple “Hi my name is..” introduction than I would have ever suspected. The sets were responding well. Lots of laughing and smiling. TheMan was blatantly feeling up some blonde’s breast in the middle of a conversation, as her friend watched! Gustavo was intercepting and disarming alarmed boyfriends like it was nobody’s business (“This is my girlfriend, but that’s her sister over there. She’s single!”). Erik was playing it cool (and tipping you on how to do it).
East in Stureplan would be the hunting grounds for the new few hours and we wrapped it all up by sarging the Macdonald’s half past 3am. I had opened around 25 sets that night, gotten all sorts of in-field feedback from the CR crew, and the weekend was just beginning. Good luck getting any sleep tonight!
Seven hours and and half a dozen sleeping pills later, I was back at Gustavo’s pad. We launched onto a debriefing on last night’s outing and then went over the core of the CR philosophy. A solid 4 hours of warm alpha theory and background information to put everything in context, followed by some more practical material after boarding the cruise (day 2, what to talk about, attraction, storytelling etc). We did cover a lot of stuff but I can’t really say I was ever bored with it. It’s all done in a very casual, loose format and the guys will happily relate the material to their own experiences and crazy stories. Kind of what school would feel like as being taught by your best guy friends and with hot women being the subject. No complaints here.
We started opening sets at 10 in the evening and went all the way until 5 or 6 in the morning. I can’t really understate the feeling of having three master pick up artists working for YOU the whole night. It would be very easy to forget you are in a boot camp with all the fun and the partying going on, if only the CR guys wouldn’t relentlessly watch out for you. Erik is subtly probing the sets and providing first-hand feedback (”She said you were awesome, but too pushy on the dance floor.”) Gustavo is spotting challenges and pushing you out to meet them (”That girl that just walked past you 10 seconds ago? Run after her and open her in the corridor. Don’t think, GO!.”) TheMan is opening sets and leading you in, extracting whole groups to the room. And so it goes on for the whole night.
Sunday we kicked off with another debriefing, then just relaxed and casually went over the rest of the material over what was left of the morning and the whole afternoon. This is the one of the best things about doing the boot camp on a cruise, and even more so if it’s only you and the instructors. When you are spending so much time with these guys -eating, drinking, sharing the cabin, etc- you get so much more quality insight than he usual night out then seminar deal.
It’s not even all about learning either. These are really phenomenal characters, with lots of wild stories, and some sick, sick humor! They were professional when they had to be, and I never really questioned what I was paying for. But that said I will give TheMan, Gustavo and Erik massive kudos for going well above and beyond duty. They truly managed to make the whole thing feel like a wicked weekend of partying with your buddies rather than a boot camp on how to pick up women!
Ok, ok, maybe you are rolling your eyes at all this seemingly endless praise right now. So what are the sticking points, if you will, of this whole program? Truth be told, it would probably take me longer to come up with any complaints than I’ve already taken writing this massive post.
If I were to suggest anything to CR would be to shoot actual video of the student opening sets from their vantage point -just bring a small picture camera or mobile to the venue and shoot it covertly, no one will notice. Especially on the first night, when the focus is on body language and making a good first impression, seeing yourself in camera the next day will probably hammer the message a lot faster than explaining it in words. And thinking along those lines, perhaps having a hidden recorder with you as open sets might be a good idea to document the interactions and then dissect them later on the debriefing.
So, the final verdict? Kiss closes, phone numbers, lots of and lots of blown offs, and that’s just on my end! The difference from the first to the second night was readily apparent, body language, locking in, and isolation moves making all the difference in the world. In terms of where my game stands right now, do I have my work cut out for me? Sure. Did I get a glimpse on how can my game skyrocket with the right feedback? Absolutely! Because as important as the theory and the knowledge from materials and seminars can be, there is really no substitute for intensive in the field experience with people who know their stuff. They lead by example, and inspire you to rise to the occasion right there on the spot.
All in all, it
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was an eye opening experience for me, that gave me a newfound drive to master the social arts and which has given the ability to enjoy every single interaction along the way. After all, if pick up is not FUN, then you are not doing it right. I owe CR for making me see that.
Bottom line: I remain one satisfied customer, through and through. If you are considering arranging an English-only boot camp, or what’s more likely, a boot camp in Swedish with just you and the instructors, you’ll get your money’s worth and quite a bit more. You will get to know these guys better and you will get a lot more nuanced, personalized feedback, all coming from different instructors all with different styles. When it comes to pick up seminars, I can’t imagine it getting any better than this.